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Remote Monitoring System Reduces Chemotherapy Symptom Burden

Significant reductions seen for global distress index, psychological symptoms, physical symptoms of Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale

breast ovarian cancer chemo

THURSDAY, July 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- For patients receiving chemotherapy, use of an Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS) for real-time remote symptom monitoring reduces symptom burden, according to a study published online July 21 in The BMJ.

Roma Maguire, Ph.D., from the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a multicenter trial involving 829 patients with nonmetastatic breast cancer, colorectal cancer, Hodgkin disease, or non-Hodgkin lymphoma receiving first-line adjuvant chemotherapy or chemotherapy for the first time in five years. Participants were randomly assigned to either ASyMS or standard care (415 and 414 participants, respectively) during six cycles of chemotherapy.

The researchers found that symptom burden remained at prechemotherapy treatment levels in the intervention group, while controls reported an increase from cycle 1 onward. Significant reductions were seen in favor of ASyMS for the global distress index, psychological symptoms, and physical symptoms subdomains of the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale. Across all cycles, for the intervention group, Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General scores were higher, while mean scores were lower for State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Revised trait and state anxiety. The intervention group had higher Communication and Attitudinal Self-Efficacy scale for cancer scores and lower scores in most domains of the Supportive Care Needs Survey Short-Form 34.

"Our findings are relevant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic," the authors write. "The cancer community faces unprecedented challenges in delivering chemotherapy, but ASyMS can provide a safe, secure, and 'real time' system that optimizes symptom management and supports patients to remain at home."

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